Friday, November 30, 2007

friday movie night ramble

we rented the dvd of the Last Mimzy tonight.

I really enjoyed this movie. Sure it was a bit fanciful and over the top but I like science based fantasy. The product placement was over the top, fo sho. But I couldn't help but rejoice in the buddhist/meditating/new ager woman who recognizes the universe communicating to her fiance and giving him the kick in the ass that he needs to do what he needs to do at a critical moment.

Watch this movie. It won't dumb you down.

Having the dvd, I clicked through the various featurettes and in the section on dna, I was struck with the reminder that humans are 99.9% identical on the genetic level. The featurette featured Dr Spencer Wells, a geneticist/scientist who's been on PBS on a show about retracing the evolution of humans across the globe and how we all can trace our genetic roots back to Africa and how we're really one big messed up family. He also stated that the incredible diversity in humans has occurred in the last 50,000 years, a mere 2-3000 generations. The salient point being, the differences that we love to, are brainwashed to focus on, are products of culture and mostly in our heads.

This made me think of the NOVA program awhile back on intelligent design. To me this show was a slam dunk on creationism trying to infiltrate the public school system. I really appreciated this show and highly recommend everyone watch it. And keep in mind that as I've posted before, I don't think evolution threatens the notion of God in the slightest. It does threaten the worldview of narrow minded religious people and their narrow unscientific explanation of how things came to be. Ironic that the scientific view of evolution and human evolution suggests common ancestry and I daresay a message of One Love, stewardship of the earth, whereas the "god mongers" of churchianity promote a view that species spontaneously emerged (by the hand of god, presumably) in separate lines of organisms. What hogwash. People think descending from monkeys is some horrible thing. Get over it. Its beautiful and miraculous. We're creatures on a planet where dna in cells keeps replicating itself. In plants and animals, fungi and phlegm. behold the greatness of God.

the other video I rented is Art School Confidential.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

two birds with one stone

improve your vocabulary and help feed hungry people at

thanks for the tip, OPB radio!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday night brain scramble

I admit it, tonight my mind is like a scrambled egg
Perspective, perception altered by a friendly fun guy
The effect comes on without hesitation,
the threshold long since bitterly crossed
nothing to do but sit back and enjoy the terrifying and uncertain ride
Truths momentarily materialize like forbidden fruit
evaporating upon attempted enunciation
leaving the soul feeling empty and hollow
Life is beautiful
The endless struggle against entropy
How futile! how noble!
breathe in breathe out
the cycle continues
we create the reality of our lives
moment by moment
choosing in an instant
irretractable behaviors and comments
unexamined and rarely given a second thought
if we did, however,
we might realize how overwhelmingly critical
our decisions really are
and we might resign to paralysis
for fear of embarrassment and failure
so blunder on
breathe, step, act
one moment after the other
Ramble on to your indifferent audience of potentially millions
but lets face it, just a handful of dear friends
and a few adventurous fellow ramblers.
It matters
All of it matters
Put it out there
the noosphere can take it
nevermind the blogosphere
Put it out there for all to see and judge and worry not
You have your role to play
No one else can substitute
No body can duplicate your love
your sorrow or your outrage
not even you
for the moment passes
opportunity lost begets
a new dawn of unbounded possibility
until its over

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

photo for the day

Elk Lake, taken the same weekend as the previous shot from Battle Ax.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

wood stove rockin and rollin

In what may yet turn out to be a rash decision, we've gone ahead and had a wood stove installed. It wasn't cheap, which is why I say it may have been a rash decision. But I think it was worth it. Our house has never been this toasty before. If we ever get around to insulating the walls, this place will be very energy efficient. Our old gas furnace was noisy, smelly, and it burned gas from the gas company. Now our gas bills will be much lower and our heating will at least be carbon neutral.

A great resource for wood burners, Burning wood is better only if we do it right, that is, have hot fires that don't produce smoke. Its more efficient, less polluting, and safer because no smoke means no creosote in your chimney, which means less likely chimney fires.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

people who say "nucular"

you lose two credibility points, in my humble opinion.

its NUCLEAR folks!!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

100 posts!

Taken from Battle Ax mountain looking north towards Mt. Hood, a couple summers ago.

evolution and God

Somebody explain to me how believing in evolution has any real bearing on the mystery of god/God. Once you get past the shallow, literal biblical crap, understanding the concept of the evolutionary process does not infringe on the greatness of it all. It doesn't lessen the overwhelming bewilderment of it all. It doesn't make the intricate complexities of matter and energy, which is to say, energy and energy, of what is really going on here, life: human, thinking, aware life, any less miraculous or wonderful to behold.

Evolution can very much be thought of as the hand of god/God at work.

Whats the big deal?

How does my belief in this matter affect my compassion for my fellow life forms? Or put another way, what matters is my compassion for fellow life forms, not my specific and narrowly defined (and no doubt limited in scope and accuracy) mechanism of how these life forms came to be.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

fcc trying to corrupt ownership rules...again

apparently, corporate tools on OUR FCC are trying again to change the ownership rules to allow for even more media ownership by corporate titans.

last time around, over 2 million people contacted the FCC to voice opposition, but they didn't get the message. Even an act of Congress didn't slow them down from grabbing their ankles for the corporate bloodsuckers.

send a message to the FCC

and help protect democracy and diversity of media ownership.

Friday, November 02, 2007

encounter with an opossum and other thoughts

i saw an opossum in the garage tonight. It startled me and I reacted almost uncontrollably. I hissed at it. I think it went and hid behind some boxes. I didn't want to move all the boxes so I tried to wait and see if it came back out, but it didn't.

The opossum made me think about my relationship with animals. I consider myself an animal lover but my reaction to the opossum was one of instantaneous terror. Was that because it was in the garage? I thought about how much space an opossum requires and how much space I require. How much space people require. How much land people require.

As I waited my mind wandered and my eyes became unfocused. I thought about how limited perception really is. I tried to sense the opossum's energy field. I failed. I thought about how people tend to insist they know the truth of reality. How people tend to live as though they know everything there is to know. Particularly in terms of politics and society in general. Things could be so different. People are amazingly versatile when they want to be.

People don't know everything there is to know. There is much in the world that we don't even perceive. Truth may be relative to individuals but to a higher perspective, the god's eye view, there is an ultimate truth of the collective comings and goings of life on planet Earth. What's going through my mind may be totally different from what's going through your mind, though we are looking at the same thing, but to a third party we're just two individuals experiencing life as constructed by a (at least in name) civil society. The experience for most of the people on planet Earth is one of desperate poverty and insecurity. Is that really how things should be? A tiny portion of the population consume and control the resources while the rest do what we can to secure crumbs for ourselves. Most going without. I think one thing people forget is that as best as we can determine, we are the final arbiters of what really is and how things can be.

We're here. Here we all are, 6 Billion and counting. How many impoverished? How many fearing for their lives, wondering how to eat, where to sleep, how to survive? How many ruling the world?

We can do better.

The way is not to grow economies as practiced today. Building a strip mine in the Third world does not help the situation. Exploiting poverty and exchange rates may help another small group of people marginally, in the short term, but I don't really see this as alleviating the poverty situation.

As much as I hesitate to say it, I believe the way is to develop society and culture to be less consumptive and more creative. How much of our lives is devoted to consumption? How much to creativity? Creative people are unique and special in our society. True, many exist and flourish, but we need more. We need to be able to provide people with true security: clean air, water and food, shelter, love and freedom with less resources. We need a project. If we have a project to focus on, the material things of life pale in comparison. We should focus on simply bringing people together and providing emotional and physical security in terms of everyone's essential human dignity. If there is someone you feel shouldn't be included in the bringing together, the gathering, ask why and work to change that, try to include everyone, regardless.

Corvallis Open Forum is a start in this direction, but it's very intermittent. Especially nowadays. Tomorrow will be the third week there hasn't been a COF. But we will be trying out Wed. nights at the Beanery.

Why get together? Its fun, exciting, real, better than sitting at home watching tv. interactive, and an expression of love.

Perhaps REAL physical security (as previously described) for all will result if we first provide at least emotional security to allow for individual expression, which can lead to collective expression, which can lead to awareness, which I'm hoping can lead to a better world, heaven on earth, utopia, a population free from want and free to explore the universe in all its wondrous glory.